How Does Affiliate Marketing Work For Dummies? [7 “Secret” Steps.!!]

The moment I  developed the interest of generating some income from the comfort of my home, that’s when I first decided to start blogging.

I was conversant with the typical methods of making money such as online advertising and even selling my products, but I was oblivious of anything to do with affiliate networking in the market.

Honestly speaking, I had no clue what it meant and hence the reason why I will call this post, how does affiliate marketing for dummies.’

I can reminisce about the excitement I had the very first time I ventured into affiliate marketing, the first sale I made, and the commission I earned through product and services endorsement to my readers and subscribers.

What a good way it was to start!

Once the endorsement becomes convertible leading to a customer showing up, that’s when payment is processed on a commission basis.

How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing?

As a way of promoting the products or services of a particular merchant, one is required to sign up to get a link that will be used in tracking the progress made.

Every time you want to endorse the products or services, that’s when this tracking link will be much needed.

This link is of great importance in that every time the online viewers click on it, your commission counts.

You cannot simply do without it, just like you cannot survive without breathing.

Very important!

In summary, here's how affiliate marketing work for dummies.

  • An affiliate marketer is expected to promote a company's products or services through special link called "affiliate link".
  • A consumer visits the affiliate's site and clicks on the products he/she wants to buy or the promotion of a particular brand.
  • Next, the cookie is stored on the customers' browser for easy tracking by the affiliate network on the progress made by the consumer from their website to be redirected.
  • Upon this, the consumer will have purchased a goodie of the brand from the merchant's website or store.
  • The commission is autonomously paid from the affiliate network to the affiliate who generated the sale.

The process may sound very easy but it takes a lot of hard work to make visitors purchase the products.

Related: Step by Step Guide To Starting an Affiliate Marketing Business For Beginners

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work For Dummies?

To many, affiliate marketing has seemed to be rocket science, for they cannot tell how it works and consider it as a mystery.

On the contrary, this is a very transparent structure with authentic relationships only that has many facets emanating from it concerning the affiliate partners.

The following steps are necessary to make this kind of marketing very easy and unlock the mystery behind it. 

  • Decide on a niche that could be related to your passion, interest or simply something you are expert at.
  • Research the best products in that niche on the affiliate networks like Amazon Associates Program, CJ, ShareASale, etc.
  • Apply for the affiliate program and wait for the approval.
  • Once approved, grab the affiliate links of those products and promote on your website, blog, social media or YouTube.
  • Once your visitors purchase something through your links you earn a percentage of or a fixed commission.

That’s how simple it is in affiliate marketing, but there are more advanced ways of doing it that may not be as direct as discussed above.

As I mentioned earlier, affiliate marketing could get even more advanced and each step that we talked about involves a lot of hard work.

To make clean money using the correct ways, these are some of the steps to follow;

Step 1: Choose Your Niche And Profitable Keywords

Choosing a niche and finding profitable keywords is the very first step towards achieving success with affiliate marketing.

One ought to have an audience that he/she is targeting based on the products and services to offer, sell products that you got detailed information concerning and embrace doing it passionately to enhance appropriate website content.

More so, you will be in a position of solving problems while you do something that you are passionately in love with doing.

Bearing in mind that most readers have little or no information concerning some products and you provide them with vivid information and help they need.

Trust me, the money will be your good friend during times of your happiness and grief.

You will never lack money.

Regardless of the niche that you choose, make sure you only give information about products that you are conversant with.

For example, if your target niche is near a university, look at the tastes that the students have, i.e., tastes and preferences.

Most of the students will go for the latest fashionable clothes in town, best movies, play stations, and other enticing things comforting a student.

That’s the same thing that should be considered when it comes to affiliate marketing.

Step 2: Build The Website of Your Own

Before coming up with a website (or blog), one does a lot of research on the subject matter to ensure that he/she is equipped with the most appropriate and valuable information that can materialize into something tangible.

Later on, all that was researched in the theoretical form must be put into a more practical shape that the whole globe can admire.

Let's have a look.

This is the step where one starts learning and starts applying all that was researched earlier on.

To make money from the newly created website, you need to host it on a server to ensure it runs entirely.

Here are the steps involved in setting up or your own blog where you can talk about the products and services you want to promote.

Register a Domain

This is simply the website's name.

The name should be short, related to what is to be promoted, and easy to memorize.

Purchase The Websites Hosting

Website hosting is like a home for your site to reside in.

Identify the best hosting providers offering cheaper plans, for example, Bluehost, HostGator, GoDaddy, etc.

Install The WordPress & Theme

Install WordPress once you are done with setting up the host.

Choose the WordPress theme that represents your business and matches your brand.

Related: 7 Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing Is The Best First Business For Beginners

Step 3: Create The Outstanding Content

Content on a website is essential in ensuring success with affiliate marketing.

It should be correlated to the niche you had initially chosen.

To generate some money, the content created should be eye-catching, brief, and to the point.

The posts on the blog should be in a short prose form that is easy to read for all the consumers accessing your website.

This will give them a great experience that they’ll live to treasure.

Let your content created be outstanding.

Here are the types of content that you can create on your blog.

Product Reviews

These will assist the viewers and readers in making concrete decisions on the products and services that they would wish to buy.

Most of the times consumers will search on Google for a review of a product before making a purchase decision.

Comparison of Related Products

Write down the pros and cons of a variety of products from the main competitors in your business niche.

This way, you create a comparison that will help consumers in choosing what is best for them.

Product Lists

These lists are eye-catching to the readers, and on the receiving end, you might get so many comments hence a lump sum on your paid commission.

Tutorials offering guidance to your consumers

Helping your clients in the form of tutorials will make them build trust in you.

Once trust is created, the consumers will most likely follow your advice on various products and services before purchasing them.

A good reputation pays dearly.

Step 4: Research The Best Affiliate Programs

Once you are ready with the blog that is full of free information and helpful content, the next step is to find the best affiliate programs or products or services that you would like to promote.

You can join either of the following;

Affiliate Networks

Jining the affiliate networks is the most preferred way of finding the right affiliate programs.

You can even join multiple affiliate networks and promote the range of products from them on your blog.

Individual Affiliate Programs

Not all of the merchants or companies prefer to list their products or service on the affiliate networks.

In that case, you need to apply to their program individually by filling up the required details on their website.

Step 5: Master The Search Engines

Understand the intentions of the user first to gain success with different search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.

If one is interested and targeting the affiliate marketing, organic search on a search engine is one of the most crucial sources of traffic on any given website.

You are expected to be in a position to understand the intentions of the users if you would want to thrive well in affiliate marketing.

The search engine will tell you what a user is looking for when they type the product names on the keyboard.

Learn the SEO tactics to get easily discovered by the major search engines.

Don't make the mistake of using the black hat tricks.

That may seem an easy way to achieve success but in reality, it will eventually lead your affiliate marketing business towards destruction.

The search engines like Google will penalize your site and even may get you banned from appearing in the search results.

Related: How Affiliate Marketing Works Step by Step? (Even Kids Can Do It.!!)

Step 6: Build The Audience of Your Own

For dummies, outstanding content may not be enough in mastering affiliate marketing; therefore, it is essential to engage your audience to acquire valuable success.

Here are a few ways of generating more page views and getting more traffic to your blog.

Build an Email List

Marketing through email is a significant step in affiliate marketing, which provides a great way of staying connected to the audience and more precisely on a personal basis.

This is one way of how your audience will get to know you better and develop valuable trust with you in the most appropriate time.

They will get to respect your recommendations for some products and services.

The soonest your website is launched, you can start collecting emails.

Ensure that you create some freebies that will provide some assistance to the readers of your posts and advocate for them to subscribe to the list that you have.

Make sure that all the posts that you make have the call to action for a subscription.

Ensure that you are targeting a niche that’s already having the relevant content and engage the readers accordingly through mails.

Guest Posting

Guest posts are of great significance for dummies in this game for these two main reasons;

First, they give room to showcase the content that you have even on blogs with high traffic to the audience.

Second, they assist in getting backlinks in the organization of your search engine.

In order to find the relevant blogs in your list, simply search for your keyword + "write for us" or your keyword + “guest blogging” on Google (for example, weight loss + "write for us").

That way will be able to discover the blogs that offer the guest blogging opportunities on your subject.

Invest In Advertising

If you are struggling with experience in affiliate marketing and would want to pick very fast, the only ways are through advertising, advertising, and advertising.

Some platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram can be of great use when it comes to posting your Ads.

Directly speaking, there is no gain without pain.

If you want to get something out of something, then be ready to give out something.

Advertise as much as you can to attract some attention from potential buyers out there who lack appropriate information and are desperately looking for help.

But, always make sure you passionately do this for products that are very familiar to you and provide factual information to gain valuable trust from your readers.

Step 7: Promote, Promote, And Promote

The audience built up should be given suggestions on some of the valuable products offered.

Make sure that your target audience will accord the products you intend to promote genuine interest; otherwise, you may be risking losing the trust that your viewers had developed in you.

Best ways to highlight products and services affiliated to you.

Banner Advertising

As a way of promoting the affiliate offers on the tour site, one should add the banner ads, which helps in bringing about high conversions.

A consumer can easily click on the image of a product that attracts his/her attention.

Promotional Images And Videos

This is almost similar to banner ads, where one can come up with a picture showcasing some of the best products in action.

This enables your readers to have an understanding of how a particular product is used.

In-text Content Links

This is one of the most common and probably among the easiest ways that can be used in promoting a product.

Mostly, when a viewer sees a link on a website, he/she clicks on to it, and this will later lead them to external pages that enable them to purchase products through that link.

Discount Codes And Giveaways

Time to time, some of the affiliated programs offer discounted codes, or instead, they get in touch with hosting giveaways as one of the ways of making the target audience conversant and familiar to a particular product.


I really hope that this guide on how affiliate marketing works for dummies was really full of value to you and help you make better decisions about starting your journey with affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways that can be used in orienting consumers to valuable products with the added advantage of giveaways and discounted prices.

The customers get a chance to view the products, rate them, and leave feedback that acts as a pointer to the seller on what is preferred by the clients.

If you are a complete beginner or struggling to generate a consistent income from affiliate marketing, feel free to reach out to me by posting a comment below.

I am here to help you out with the answers. 🙂

About the author 

Hardik Raval

Hardik is passionate about helping people launch their own online business. He loves to talk about online business ideas, affiliate marketing tools, tips and other sources of residual income available on the internet.

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